"You are creating a false scenario with a non-existent drug as my position and then trying to disprove that false scenario. I'm beginning to doubt that you are commenting in good faith."There is a clear reason for someone to comment in bad faith. Many people work very hard to reframe the issue of rape and consent in order to excuse the actions of certain rapists when they are unable to deny those rapists' victims experience of rape.
I'm sorry if I have given you that impression. I promise you that I am commenting in good faith. There would be no reason to be just commenting for idle fun/trying to make fun of this issue - I do appreciate that it's a very serious one. It would hardly be the most "fun" thing to do to sit around writing long comments on someone's blog dicussing rape.
These people have learned that if they come in ranting they are likely to be quickly banned, but if they come in posing as someone with no agenda and a genuine interest in understanding the issues around sexual violence they will be given more slack.
Your last comment was especially entrenched in denying that those who rape the vulnerable are always making conscious decisions and taking conscious actions. Instead you seem determined to turn many rapes into nothing more than an accident. There is no such thing as no-fault rape.
I just have a purely intellectual interest in the whole issue of how consent is defined etc. Perhaps this is the problem - this issue is obviously so filled with emotion for you because of your past experiences whereas I have never been sexually assaulted, and have only known one person who has (and that was an extremely clear-cut case as regards consent, so these issues wouldn't really be relevant to her).The difference is more than intellectual vs. emotional. My perspective is grounded in reality -- as a survivor and as a trained victims advocate -- and you seem dismissive of the reality of rape -- in order to play so-called intellectual games.
Your framing in the paragraph is intentionally demeaning toward me. I've been raped therefore my insights get dismissed as lacking intellectual merit. What lacks intellectual merit is this statement which is a rehash of numerous statements made against those who have survived rape in order to justify ignoring their experiences and mocking their right to speak about the subject of rape.
In my rape a lack of consent was clear cut unless you buy the excuses rapists give for ignoring lack of consent. It is the multitude of excuses for claiming that the rapist believed there was consent which make these issues directly relevant to the person you know who was sexually assaulted.
It's my abstract interest that leads me to think up scenarios like the one with the non-existent (as yet) drug. That's just how I like to think - when presented with a theory (in this case, "If there is any possibility at all that she is impaired or not freely consenting then proceeding is rape") I find it useful to see how water-tight the theory is - if it holds fast when applied to unusual, hypothetical situations. This is why the Law and Order episode fascinated me - that was a very unlikely scenario (that someone would have sex with someone that they didn't know had been drugged) but which dealt with the kind of questions which would apply in more common situations.The problem is that an abstract interest, as you put it, can lead people to make bad conclusions based on bad data which gets defended by the speculative nature of the data. When you put bad data into a good theory then your results are meaningless and prove nothing. Defending bad data because it is speculative fails to be intellectual.
Unfortunately, the scenario in Law and Order is not unlikely because of a widespread attitude that deliberately supports exploiting girls incapable of consent. Those who will rape a drunk girl won't care if someone else spiked her drink and raped her. Often knowing that someone else used a girl sexually is the opposite of a deterrent for rape. It is used as a rationalization for not stopping.
As Anonymous said in a comment on my last post:
Ladies, if ya don't want to have sex at a party don't drink so much. Christ, talk about not taking responsibility, "meet me here tomorrow." Really?
This man has the same attitude as that boy in the Law and Order episode. He defends raping the intoxicated by calling it romantic to refuse to wait until genuine consent can be confirmed.
Basically in the Law and Order scenario there were two issues:Not being able to consent comes from more than having any drug in your system. Someone who takes cholesterol-lowering medicine is on a technical level drugged, but if the drug doesn't impair that person it doesn't nullify the ability to legally consent.
1. the fact that she couldn't legally consent because she had been drugged
2. the fact that she was clarly vulnerable and possibly near to alcohol poisoning
You thought that even if point 1 hadn't applied, then point 2 alone would mean that he was guilty of rape. "If the girl hadn't been drugged with GHB and everything else was the same, my opinion of this boy's guilt remains the same." With my hypothetical scenario, I was trying to see whether if point 2 did not apply yet point 1 did you would still consider it rape, and to do this I created the imaginary drug.
Also in your 2 points you are making the false assumption that her drunkenness and trauma from a previous rape -- or apparent drunkenness -- doesn't impact her ability to consent. It does.
The drugs that are used to facilitate rape -- including alcohol -- are given because they have a clear impact which changes behavior or the ability to think or the ability to remember events clearly or a combination of all three. Any drug which doesn't do any of these 3 won't be used as a date rape drug so creating such a phantom date-rape drug is meaningless.
No matter what substances are or are not in another person, the responsibility for ensuring meaningful consent belongs to the person who wants sex. The ability to give meaningful consent can be nullified even if someone is stone-cold sober. Most non-stranger rapists approach sex by depending on reducing their target's options or waiting until the other person's normal defenses are gone or severely reduced. This is premeditation.
And I'm not alone in finding thought experiements helpful (Judith Jarvis Thomson?) Do you find her "reliance on" a scenario "that doesn't exist except in [her] imagination... troubling" as well? I doubt it, since (from some of your posts on this blog) you seem pro-choice, and so would agree with her. Also, you have no strong emotional reasons (I presume) to be pro-life. This is the opposite of your attitude towards my approach - you are (obviously!) anti-rape and so naturally have an instinctive revulsion towards anything that appears to lessen the guilt of any rapist.My problems with your approach aren't whether you are thinking of "what if" but whether your "what ifs" are attempts to distort reality in order to find a way to excuse real rapists of their legal responsibility. There is nothing genuinely intellectual in that. That is called rationalization which is used by rapists and their defenders to excuse the deliberate choices made by rapists.
Your search for ways to make the boy in the Law and Order episode not guilty of rape matches that boy's rationalizations for his decisions which clearly resulted in that girl being raped by him.
My revulsion for this isn't instinctive, but rational and practical. This boy had the power to prevent that rape and he decided that he preferred committing rape simply because he could get what he wanted by disregarding the welfare of that girl.
Anyway I hope you understand my intentions - I am quite troubled by the fact that you think I am a trouble-maker or someone who is being flippant about the issue. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my posts - you clearly have put a lot of thought into your answers, and I now understand the position on rape of your brand of feminism better. I take the doubt about my sincerity as an indication that you don't want to continue the discussion - I'm fine with that, I'm just grateful that you found the time to engage in discussion at all.Your being troubled about my questioning your intentions should be a sign that you are straying into rape denial and rape apology. If that is not your intent, then you need to look at how you are thinking about the issue of rape.
Making my doubt about anything other than your words indicates that you don't understand the reality of rape -- or you do understand but want to reject that reality in favor of your what ifs where many rapists aren't always people who choose to rape.
My position on rape has nothing to do with being loyal to any brand of feminism, it has everything to do about preventing harm and holding those who harm others accountable for their actions.
(And just on one final point. On the issue whether "it's always very risky to judge the seriousness of a crime by its effects" I think it does apply to rape. Imagine two women who are raped in similar situations by the same guy. The first was very fragile emotionally before and the rape competely ruins her life. She ends up killing herself because she can't face life any more. The second, though obviously still traumatised, has a very supportive family etc and manages to cope with the attack, and goes on to lead a happy, succesful life. Now nobody would deny that the effects of the rape were worse in the first case. Yet this does not affect my view on the rapist's culpability. It is his intentions - his wilful disregard of his victim's rights - that condemn him, in my opinion. These were the same for both women so he committed just as great a wrong in the second case even though his actions had a less damaging effect on her life. I'm not "making excuses for allowing many rapists to continue with no punishment", just judging the severity of someone's wrong by a more accurate and less personality and situation-dependent measure than the victim's response.You are going off-track here from my quoted statement. My statement related to your excusing of rapists from legal responsibility based on your insistence that some rapists -- like the boy in the Law and Order episode -- had no willful disregard of his victim's rights and that the harm he created should not be considered as being meaningful in the eyes of the law. You clearly supported the idea that she was raped, but he's no rapist.
This is another example about why I question your motives.
Even though I wasn't referring to a comparison between the trauma experienced by different rape victims, rapists whose victims commit suicide directly because of the trauma from rape should be charged with manslaughter. This isn't an unknown outcome from rape so the rapist should be held legally responsible for this woman's death.
The man who shoots a liquor store clerk with no intent to kill is going to face additional charges if that clerk dies. According to your logic this is a miscarriage of justice.
You are positioning yourself as more accurate yet you lack accuracy in summing up the law, your own statements and my response to those statements.
I once read about a rape victim who said that her rape had barely affected her life at all. She said that the death of her cat caused her more pain - (obviously cases like this are incredibly, incredibly rare). Using your standard (how bad the rapist's actions were should be judged by how badly she is affected) he wouldn't have done anything that bad, even compared to the person who killed her cat. Whereas using my preferred standard, he would be just as guilty, since the fact that she wan't v. badly affected doens't mean that his intentions and actions weren't despicable in raping her. So I'm not trying to absolve rapists of guilt. Please don't think I am.)But you were trying to absolve rapists of guilt. In a comment you wrote: I don't think the idea that "she was really raped but he isn't really a rapist" is completely redundant.
You are absolving rapists of guilt by refusing to call all rapists by the label they earned through their choices. Once you've eliminated many rapists then you claim to be treating all rapists equally. That's not a genuine claim.
When you compare the trauma of rape vs. the death of a cat you should have compared rape to someone killing that woman's cat. Killing someone's pet is often an act of deliberate terrorism. Killing or torturing animals is a major danger signal. Yet you seem to be minimize this in order to minimize rape.
There is nothing intellectual about that.